Westby Hall Caravan Sales
A Lancashire farmer has grown a whole new way of life after swapping cattle for caravans.
Andrew Taylor has turned former cow barns and farm yards on his family farm into one of the UK’s top examples of a very 21 st century enterprise: first class secure storage for “leisure vehicles” such as motorhomes, caravans, boats and even classic cars.
And, says Andrew, he and his team have not only found hundreds of customers but they have also created a community and a home from home for campers, some from as far away as Australia and New Zealand! “Someone’s caravan is like their baby. It’s an honour to be asked to look after it, and keep it safe and warm, so to speak,” says father of two Andrew, whose family has been farming at Westby Hall near Wrea Green since 1921.
It was in 1997 that they diversified into secure storage, and since then Westby Hall has been awarded the very highest industry accolades for its standards of service and its high-tech security measures. A state-of-the-art caravan servicing and repair workshop was added onsite in 2007. Caravan and motorhome touring has never been more popular in Britain, with more than a million people regularly holidaying in their own little slice of freedom. But while the vehicles themselves have become ever more sophisticated, comfortable and luxurious there’s one problem that never goes away: how do you keep your pride and joy safe and secure when you’re not using it?
Even if you have the space and can legally park your caravan at your home without upsetting the neighbours, leisure vehicles are a prime target of theft and vandalism, with both the vehicles themselves and their contents and fixtures being vulnerable. And then, when you go away on holiday, the sudden absence of the caravan is a big advertisement that the house is empty.
That’s where Westby Hall comes in, providing a secure place to store … and so much more!
A discreet business in the heart of the rural Fylde area of Lancashire, within easy reach of Blackpool and the motorway network, Westby Hall appears from the road to be just like any other farm -and in many ways it is, as it also specialises in growing feedstuffs for the equestrian world.
But there’s another side to Westby Hall. The impressive electronic gate and CCTV cameras at the entrance are a subtle clue, but otherwise there’s little to suggest that this is one of the top secure storage sites in the UK.
Life at the Taylor family’s arable, beef and sheep operation changed when the BSE crisis struck the UK in the mid-1990s. “The buildings that had been full of our beef cattle and sheep were left empty overnight and we were wondering what we could do with them,” says Andrew.
“Then a friend came to me and asked if I could store his caravan for him, because he had no room for it at home. We realised then that there was a real shortage of good, secure storage for large items like caravans.” From that simple seed grew the storage business, which now cares for vehicles of all sizes -from the smallest towable tourers up to giant motorhomes worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“Size really doesn’t matter here!” laughs Andrew. ‘We can look after anything, including the biggest fifth-wheel campers which have to be towed with a pick-up truck. We can move them with our own vehicle, so customers do not have to leave their pick-up here if they don’t want to.” That level of facilities and flexibility is a Westby Hall trademark. Right from the start Andrew was determined to deliver a service that was of the very highest standard, offering not only simple storage but also first class security and other-conveniences, including maintenance bays with electric and water supplies, a vehicle washing service, awning drying, interior valeting, accessories and bottled gas for sale and a caravan brokerage service. No wonder Westby Hall has both the top-rate Gold Award from industry organisation CaSSOA and the Caravan Parks ‘Secure by Design’ Award.
But more than that, it’s also a place where clients become friends and where all the staff take a real interest in taking the very best care of the vehicles left in their charge.
“It’s a bit of a community here,” says Andrew. “It’s very personable, and if you’ve got a problem or need help we’re here. We’ve got a good team who are super conscious about moving the caravans. They really do care.”
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